Pathways through Lent

Weekday reflections from St. John’s in the season of Lent.

Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent: March 5, 2024

Confession and Chicken Soup

When we are not feeling our best, comfort can bring about healing. You do not need to spend years in medical school to know that chicken soup is an excellent source of healing when you are feeling ill. It may not be the chicken itself, especially if you are a vegetarian. Maybe it is in the broth? Whatever it may be, it provides comfort and helps to bring about restoration to a body in need.

In the church, Lent is the principal penitential season. It prepares us for Christ’s death and resurrection and helps us to look within through prayer, self-denial, and reflection. Its intention is self-improvement; however, the solemn nature of this season can sometimes make people uncomfortable. During this season, we use a penitential rite, which starts with the Confession of Sin. In our culture, which has grown more self-aware, acknowledging our sins and our missteps may be taken as a disgrace.

Lent serves as our spiritual check-in, a comforting sanctuary where we can be honest with ourselves and God. It’s the time when maintenance is required, and a large part of that maintenance is penitence. When we bring our sins to the surface, we close the distance between ourselves and God. Augustine, remarking about our struggle with sin, calls confession a main source of motivation that allows us to seek God. As we work towards reconciliation in Lent, we use confession to begin our worship and to help us in our Lenten practices. When we do, we find comfort, we find healing, and we are restored, not just in how we feel but in our relationship with God. For our lives, confession is chicken soup for the soul.

The Rev. Shawn Evelyn
Associate for Parish Life

Links to the appointed readings for today: